When it comes to open source network monitoring, a network administrator should typically consider what software provides him or her with the best features and is safe and reliable. As with other open source programs, these network monitors can be altered through changes to the source code, so an administrator should look for software that he or she can work with. There may already be a well-established community for some programs, which can make customization even easier. An administrator should also look for open source network monitoring programs that come from a trustworthy and reliable source, to avoid the introduction of malicious software into a system.
Open source network monitoring usually involves the use of software that is available under the terms of an open license. This means that such programs can be used and distributed freely, and that the source code for the software can be altered by anyone. An administrator for a network should look for a program that is written using code that he or she can work with and change as necessary. This allows an administrator to customize the program he or she chooses for open source network monitoring to provide additional features and layout options.
Administrators should also look for programs that are well established already, especially those that may have a large and active community around them. Programs used for open source network monitoring often have other administrators and programmers who have made changes to software and created new utilities for them. This allows an administrator using such a program to benefit from the programming experience and additional code of others, rather than having to create everything from scratch. Some open source network monitoring software may also be a free copy of a program developed for professional use, which may be able to benefit from additional utilities developed for the commercial version.
It is also important for an administrator to ensure that any software used for open source network monitoring is from a reputable and reliable developer. Open source programs can be used as a way to spread malicious software, which can create problems and security risks for a network. Administrators should research any program they plan to use before downloading and installing it, and the software should only be obtained from a reputable website. This is because open source network monitoring software can be altered by any user, so copies hosted on private and unknown websites could contain malicious source code that is otherwise difficult to detect.